Uber is planning to harness its fleet of drivers and UberRush couriers for same-day delivery of merchant goods bought online, according to TechCrunch. A source tells TechCrunch that there are over 400 different merchants in talks or testing with Uber for same-day delivery of their goods, but several of those retailers include huge names in fashion like Neiman Marcus, Louis Vuitton, and Tiffany’s. Uber’s going upscale in its first invasion of same-day delivery territory currently dominated by Amazon.
TechCrunch acquired training documents for Uber drivers and couriers involved in the pilot delivery program. The site also confirmed that David Tisch’s mobile shopping app Spring will be part of the initial test of the platform. This partnership makes sense, since Spring already has the back-end infrastructure to list the amount and type of retailers’ in-store inventory for same-day deliveries–though that means that stores with traditional inventory systems like Neiman Marcus might have a more difficult time displaying what’s available for same-day deliveries, says TechCrunch.
Currently, Uber drivers and couriers are taking merchant orders through a different app than what they use to take UberRush orders, TechCrunch learned from the documents. But eventually, Uber drivers will be able to take human drivers and merchant orders simultaneously through an intelligent routing system via a single driver-side app, says TechCrunch.
Same-day delivery is a clear challenge to Amazon, but Uber’s also cozying up to a different tech titan. Soon you’ll be able to call an Uber from Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft announced today at the Microsoft Build developer conference. A new feature in the Microsoft Office suite lets developers tap into any Office app via an API, and Microsoft showed off Uber as an example of a service that would pair well with Outlook.